Chapter 5: An Awe-Inspiring Resolve
Knowing every army has begun to obtain the sacred treasures, everyone could feel the presence of an unavoidable war.
Among them is the glum look of Takamoto, appointed as the next general. The real intention behind that was…?
[YUZUKI]: (I wonder where Takakage-san went…)
Following Takakage-san, I went out into the courtyard, but there was no one around…
Thinking he might have gone outside, I went to the castle gates to look around.
[YUZUKI]: “Takakage-san, are you around…?”
[YUZUKI]: (He’s not here either… Maybe I should do this tomorrow.)
I realized I came to the castle gates in my sleep-wear and hurriedly turned on my heel. However, in that instant—
—The nearby bushes rustled.
[YUZUKI]: (Could that be Takakage-san?)
I turned around, thinking that, but right after that the blood drained from my body.
There stood not Takakage-san but several yakuma.
[YUZUKI]: (Why are they here…!? I have to r-run…!)
However, the yakuma immediately chased after me when I ran.
[YUZUKI]: (Oh no…! They’ll catch up like this…)
[YUZUKI]: (No, now’s not the time to think that! I have to get away no matter what…!)
But that impatience became fatal.
I stumbled over something and my body jerked forward.
Unable to do anything, I fell to the ground—
When I looked back, a yakuma was bringing its arm down at me.
Right after that, the yakuma’s body in front of me was bisected.
Past the yakuma that was killed was a wounded Takakage-san.
[TAKAKAGE]: “Good grief… I didn’t get orders from Motonari-sama about exterminating yakuma… Moreover, to think that yakuma would appear this close to the castle.”
[YUZUKI]: “Takakage-san!? Why are you here… And that wound on your chest…”
[TAKAKAGE]: “… Tch, it’s not something you need to know about.”
[YUZUKI]: (But, as far as I can see, the wound is really deep and if it’s left like that won’t it be dangerous…)
As I was thinking that Takakage-san cut down the remaining yakuma in a flash.
—It didn’t take that long until the yakuma were wiped out.
However, right after the last one was cut down, Takakage-san fell to his knees on the spot with a pained expression.
I ran over to support Takakage-san’s body, but blood continued to flow from the wound on his chest.
[TAKAKAGE]: “… Aah, because of you my plan got messed up.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “I was just supposed to report to Motonari-sama after, yet I had to exterminate yakuma…”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry, it’s all because of me…”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Mm, that’s right… that’s why… take responsibility.”
Takakage-san abruptly grabbed my shoulders, facing me as if he were going to embrace me, and I thought he was going to whisper something—
But Takakage-san brought his face to my neck, breathing roughly, and bit down like that.
[TAKAKAGE]: “… Ngh…”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah… Takakage… -san…”
A throbbing pain ran through me and I twisted my face, but right after a sweet numbness spread through my entire body.
After drinking my blood, Takakage-san’s wound healed completely and his appearance changed too.
[TAKAKAGE]: “That was a good meal.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Hehe, I’ll count this as your thanks.”
[YUZUKI]: (I’m glad he’s safe, but—)
[YUZUKI]: (… He didn’t have to be this rough. I would have given him blood…)
Takakage-san smiled in satisfaction when I glared at him a little.
[TAKAKAGE]: “… So, why were you here?”
[YUZUKI]: “… Ah, that’s right!”
[YUZUKI]: “I wanted to hand this to you, Takakage-san. When I crashed into you in the hallway earlier, I think you dropped this…”
When I brought out the small coins, Takakage-san’s eyes widened for an instant and then he nodded.
[TAKAKAGE]: “I see, I dropped that. This is Terumoto’s pocket money from Motonari-sama.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Actually, there was something I wanted, but I didn’t have enough money.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “I managed to trick Terumoto well and got him to ask for money from Motonari-sama.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Motonari-sama is soft on Terumoto, you see. Thanks to that, I got this without trouble.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Ah, what I said just now is confidential.”
As I listened in bewilderment, Takakage-san said that with a sidelong glance and winked.
But, in the next moment, he frowned and asked me a question.
[TAKAKAGE]: “Hey, moreover, aren’t you being too careless walking around alone at night? Did you try to leave the castle?”
[YUZUKI]: “… I’m sorry. It’s as you said.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Did you want to see me that badly you risked danger?”
[YUZUKI]: “… Yes… wait, huh?”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Hmm, I see… You’re saying you don’t mind risking danger in order to see me, huh.”
[YUZUKI]: “It’s not that I thought I’d be in danger! It just resulted in that…”
[TAKAKAGE]: “That’s true. You really are thoughtless.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes… I’ll be careful next time.”
[TAKAKAGE]: “It’s nice when you’re obedient, so I’ll protect you specially just for this time.”
Saying that, Takakage-san took my hand and started walking.
[TAKAKAGE]: “What? You don’t like this?”
[YUZUKI]: “It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just…”
When I said it was embarrassing in a small voice, Takakage-san gave an amused smile and squeezed our joined hands slightly.